21 Best Things To Do In Byblos, Lebanon

Things to do in Byblos
Swadeep Singh
Swadeep Singh 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 8 min read

The tiny urban area of Byblos is located in the north of Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon; and interestingly, this whole city is a UNESCO heritage site. The reason for this lies in the annals of history. With clear evidence of the first colonization as far back as 8000 BCE, Byblos is one of the oldest cities in the world. Furthermore, it has been steadily inhabited since 5000 BCE and has witnessed countless Mediterranean civilizations. The ancient names of Byblos have also appeared in Egyptian hieroglyphic records, Akkadian cuneiform, and in the Greek Bible. It’s a must-visit location for archaeological enthusiasts; as well as for those who are not, but still traveling to Lebanon anyway. In addition to hotels with a hot tub, there are homey Airbnb vacation rentals for one’s accommodation needs as well. Scroll down for a list of the best things to do in Byblos, Lebanon.

1. Go back in time by visiting the Baalat Gebal Temple

Baalat Gebal Byblos
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user O.Mustafin used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The Baalat Gebal Temple is one of the best places to visit in Byblos. It showcases the remnants of a sacred space dating back thousands of years. As you wander the site, you’ll encounter the foundations and preserved structures that once formed this important religious center.

Admire the intricate stone carvings and architectural details that hint at the temple’s grandeur in its heyday. The site also features artifacts and displays that provide insights into the rituals and ceremonies conducted at the temple. Visiting the Baalat Gebal Temple allows you to connect with the ancient Phoenician culture to imagine the devotion and significance this site held for its worshippers. It is a testament to the rich history and heritage of Byblos, a city that has witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations.

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2. Marvel at the outstanding Saint John-Marc Cathedral

A beautiful Romanesque church, the Saint Jean-Marc cathedral is dedicated to Saint John Mark, the patron saint of the...

Posted by Sajna Lebanese Cafe on Thursday, 16 January 2020

This historical monument has been standing since the 12th century and is one of the top attractions in Byblos. It is a Roman cathedral that was built in memory of Saint John-Marc of Byblos. The holy man is recognized as the first person to set up a Christian community Byblos. This beautiful Romanesque church was once damaged by an earthquake, and later by the British bombardments in the year 1840. However, it has been lovingly restored since. There is not much to do here, but still, one can enjoy a lovely and peaceful stroll around the premises.

Saint John-Marc Cathedral

Address: Church Saint Jean-Marc, Rue du Port, Byblos, Lebanon

Price: Free

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3. Enjoy a walk through the beautiful Byblos Public Park


This public park should be a great place to hang out if you are wondering about what to see in Byblos. Since it is situated in the middle of this small city, one can visit anytime. This place includes some kiosks, food stalls, and clean public toilets. You can walk, jog, and can even do bicycling here. The interesting fact about this garden is that the trails are built over the base of ancient stone pathways. Entry to this park is free, and it is very close to the seaside.

Byblos Public Park

Address: Main Street, Byblos, Lebanon

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4. Savor the peaceful ambiance of the holy Monastery of St. Maron Annaya

Good Morning From Annaya "Saint Maron's Monastery- Saint Charbel's Sanctuary" Pic By: Ayoub Salloum

Posted by JBEIL BYBLOS on Friday, 30 December 2016

Your visit to Lebanon is incomplete until you visit this holy place. It is the Monastery of St. Maron Annaya, the sacred priesthood of the Syrian Catholic community from the 4th century. It is said that a holy saint spent most of his life here and even died in this abbey. The entire monastery is carved out of the side of the hill, which is situated about 90 meters (300 feet) high above the river bed. This hill is located a short drive from the city, and even if not for religious purposes; you should still visit this place for the scenic beauty.

Monastery of St. Maron Annaya

Address: Aannaya, Lebanon

Website: Monastery of St. Maron Annaya

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5. Visit the majestic Saint Charbel Tomb


The convent of Saint Charbel is adjoined with Saint Maron’s monastery, which means that you will have two points of interest in the same area. While the prolonged stay and passing of Saint Maron at this location is still dubious, there are no doubts about the presence of the other holy monk. Charbel Makhlouf, the greatest Maronite saint in Lebanon during the 19th century, lived here his whole life. This place houses his tomb as well. You should visit these two locations.

Saint Charbel Tomb

Address: Annaya, Byblos, Byblos, Lebanon

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6. Pick up contemporary souvenirs at Memoire Du Temps Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Memory of Time will reopen its doors tomorrow! We also assure you that covid19 precautionary measures will be in place...

Posted by Memoire du temps on Sunday, February 28, 2021

Surprisingly, your trip to this small city can get you things that are super rare. Visit this museum to discover an exhibition of fish fossils, several prehistoric specimens, some over 100 million years old. Yet the unique feature that makes this place phenomenal is that people can actually shop for these fossils. Not every specimen is expensive, so you can actually get an authentic souvenir for as low as 5 USD. Besides, the staff also shares insights into how these remnants were found and preserved.

Memoire Du Temps Museum

Address: Citadel (Castle) Area, Byblos, Lebanon

Website: Memoire Du Temps Museum

Opening hours: 8:30am - 7pm (daily)

Price: 5 USD

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7. Spend a relaxing day by Byblos Harbour

things to do in byblos | spend a relaxing day by byblos harbour
Source: instagram

The mild weather of Byblos allows tourists to have fun along the Mediterranean coast throughout the year. Specifically speaking about the harbour, one can effortlessly pass a full day of one’s vacation here without getting bored. You can do fish at the pier, or maybe spend all the time at a local waterfront café/restaurant and watch ferryboats. Even more interesting, catch a fish and have it cooked at the harbourside restaurant because there are many such diners here!

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8. Create countless memories at the famed El-Houssami House


Tankaz el-Houssami was the king of Jbeil (Byblos) in the 14th century. This famous little house is a memento of the same lineage. The governance of the El-Houssami family continued in Byblos for the next few hundred years. The family had several such houses in the past, but the El-Houssami House is their final and the only existing property near the sea. It was built in the 19th century, and you shouldn’t miss a chance to visit this picturesque location. It is restored now, so book a tour to explore it.

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9. Walk through the picturesque Old Souk


The Old Souk is probably the most preferred and loved area in the whole city of Byblos. Some people claim that Souk is better in the daytime, while some claim that the night visits are magical. Why don’t you take a tour and judge for yourself? The old market place is situated in the heart of this city and is surprisingly a peaceful place. The town square, narrow and wide pathways, and numerous shops make it a picture-perfect location. The eateries are slightly overpriced, but a family night walk in the Old Souk is still an absolute must in our opinion.

Old Souk

Address: Old Souk, Byblos, Lebanon

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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10. Visit an ancient Roman theater


This ruin site is a theatre created by the Romans in the 3rd century AD. The arena was built in two sections, one built in a semi-circular shape for the orchestra while the other is an auditorium for the spectators. The location was nearly damaged but has been restored during the 1930s. However, it’s only 1/3rd of its original form today, yet we’re glad that it’s still around. This ancient spot is situated near the iconic El-Houssami House.

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11. Take a stroll through the Byblos Citadel

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Byblos Citadel, also known as the Byblos Castle, showcases layers of history spanning thousands of years. As you explore its fortified walls and winding passages, you’ll encounter remnants from various civilizations, including Phoenician, Roman, Crusader, and Ottoman. Marvel at the impressive architectural features, such as the imposing entrance gate, towers, and defensive walls that once protected the city. Discover archaeological excavations and exhibits that shed light on the ancient past of Byblos, including ancient tombs, temples, and everyday artifacts.

From the top of the citadel, soak in panoramic views of Byblos’ picturesque harbor and the surrounding coastline. The sweeping vistas and fresh sea breeze add to the site’s enchantment. The Byblos Citadel also serves as a venue for cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions, bringing the site to life with music, arts, and performances.

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12. Visit The Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon (from USD 91.0)

Lady of Lebanon is the correct English translation of the word Ba‘alat Gebal; she was the goddess of this city during the Phoenicia era, and her temple dates back to the year 2700 BC. The original temple was destroyed by the Amorites. However, her site was reconstructed many times and was later even dedicated to the Roman goddess, Aphrodite. The six standing pillars of this temple are from that same Roman period of 3rd century AD. A trip to this ruin will be an unforgettable experience for history enthusiasts.

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Road trip to Jeita Grotto, Lady of Lebanon, Byblos Castle & walk in the Souks

Duration: 8 hours

13. Enjoy an evening at The Archive Byblos

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


This ancient city isn’t just living in its past, it boasts of a vibrant nightlife. Locals and tourists in Byblos often head straight to The Archive Byblos for some good late-night fun. The Archive is the leading pub of the city, and this lounge features live music and a great drinks collection. Sadly, they just serve drinks and not food; but you will surely have fun here.

The Archive

Address: Mona Liza Center, Main Street, Jbeil, Jbeil District

Website: The Archive

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 11pm - 4am (closed Sun - Thu)

Price: 25 USD

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14. Munch on Lebanese pastries at L'abeille d'Or

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


You will spot this pastry chain everywhere in Lebanon. L'abeille d'Or has stores in 12 cities today. With their six original and iconic varieties, L'abeille d'Or is now a label for authentic Lebanese pastries. Do come and taste the distinct flavours from Lebanon. Besides pastries, you will find cakes, ice creams, and beverages as well.

L'abeille d'Or

Address: Near Banque Libano Francaise, Jbeil Roundabout, Byblos, Lebanon

Website: L'abeille d'Or

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

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15. Cycle along the coastal road and visit Amchit


Amchit is a town next to the city of Byblos, and a visit to this small fishing village will add some charm to your Byblos trip. Although faster modes of transportation like bus, taxi, and ferry are available, it would be way better if you could travel to Amchit on a bicycle. Amchit is not more than 5 kilometres (2.9 miles) from Byblos and Route 51M, better known as the coastal highway, is a picturesque road. Bike rental points are available in the city.

Amchit

Address: Town in Lebanon

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16. Feast on seafood delicacies at Bab el Mina Restaurant


For seafood lovers, we would like to recommend this superb restaurant in the city. Bab el Mina Restaurant is positioned at an incredible spot, the ancient city harbour of Byblos. We guarantee every meal experience here would be lovely. Order your favourite dishes while enjoying the busy scenes of the local port. Several types of fish can be ordered, plus they maintain a bar. Try dinner at Bab el Mina; the marina looks magical after dark, and the restaurant remains open till pretty late.

Bab el Mina Restaurant

Address: Mina Jbeil, Lebanon

Website: Bab el Mina

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 12pm - 12am; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 12:30am

Price: Varies

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17. Explore the Temple of the Obelisks

Temple Obelisks, Byblos, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Historic Quarter, Gebal, Lebanon. (Sus)

Posted by Ancient Phoenicia on Saturday, 31 August 2013

The ancient civilizations of Egypt and Byblos shared a trade connection. Along with other valuable resources, Byblos was the chief exporter of cedarwood. Cedarwood was used to make as special perfume-oil, an essential element for the mummy-making process. The Obelisks Temple is a memento of that strong connection between the two civilizations. This temple was built during 1900 BCE and was dedicated to the Egyptian God of War, Resheph. People can enter the cella section of this temple, but the area beyond the obelisks is secured.

Temple of the Obelisks

Address: Byblos, Lebanon

Website: Temple of the Obelisks

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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18. Pay a visit to the antique royal tombs of Byblos

Byblos ancient ruins, old Phoenician city of Byblos, Lebanon
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Vyacheslav Argenberg used under CC BY 4.0

The Phoenician ruins were the spot for royal burials in Byblos since the second millennium BCE. The Hebrew Biblical figure ‘King Hiram The First’ was also entombed here. A total of 14 tombs were discovered at this location after a random landslide, 5 of which were wrecked. The remaining sarcophagi were delivered to the National Museum of Beirut, including the one holding King Hiram. However, the grave shafts and the location can still be visited.

Phoenician Ruins

Address: Byblos, Lebanon

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19. Explore the archaeological ruins of Necropolis K


The landslide in Byblos revealed many ancient treasures. Though the sarcophagi were moved to the Beirut National Museum, the chambers and subterranean rooms of the ruins are still accessible. The area is called Necropolis K, a hidden territory that is accessible through a shaft entrance. Necropolis K showcases numerous Middle Bronze Age vessels from the Mycenaean and Cypriot civilizations, along with the Egyptian artefacts, like scarabs.

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20. Browse through historical artefacts at Byblos Wax Museum (from USD 160.0)

You should visit the Byblos Wax Museum if you’re in the city. This place features wax figures of famous personalities of this country and also depicts life scenes from ancient to modern Lebanese society. There are a few figures of Jesus Christ as well. The sculpture quality isn’t top-notch, but the entry fee is very nominal. This could be a great opportunity to learn about Lebanese culture through an art form. The overall experience wouldn’t take more than half an hour.

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Full Day Byblos City Tour (from Beirut)

Duration: 6 to 12 hours

21. Tour the rich old city of Byblos (from USD 160.0)

The city of Byblos is believed to have been inhabited as far back as 8000 BCE. Civilizations came and went but life flourished at Byblos. Today, this city ranks amongst the 20 oldest cities of the world, and the entire area of Byblos is recognized as a UNESCO heritage site. It would be silly of us to comment on the rich history of thousands of years in a single paragraph space. Thus, tour the old city and you will surely marvel at its ancient past.

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Full Day Byblos City Tour (from Beirut)

Duration: 6 to 12 hours

Ancient Byblos awaits

Although Byblos is tiny, it holds many treasures that are waiting to be explored. There are also several hotels to stay. Do not underestimate the wonders of Byblos and reserve at least three days to tour this ancient town. Our well-curated list of things to do and activities in Byblos will help you out.

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Byblos


Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Also known as Bobby, Swadeep Singh is a businessman since 2013 but he has forever nurtured a passion for writing. Traveling never makes him exhausted, which is why he's never known turn down any...Read more

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